THE STYLE GUIDE – BUTTON DOWNS
There are some basic items that can be found in almost everyone’s wardrobes; a little black dress, a pair of great jeans, and a white t-shirt are some of them. But one style basic that
There are some basic items that can be found in almost everyone’s wardrobes; a little black dress, a pair of great jeans, and a white t-shirt are some of them. But one style basic that often gets shoved to the bottom of the pile is the button down shirt. It’s easy to write this piece off as an item that’s confined strictly to business-style office dressing, but experimenting with fabric, silhouette, and prints can make the simple button down into a piece you’ll reach for day after day.
MAKE A BUZZ
Most ways to make a button down seem more casual involve layering; tucking the shirt under a cute sweater or a pinafore dress is a great idea for the winter, but you’re likely to overheat if you dig out your woollens in July. But when layering isn’t practical, prints are perfect – the right pattern can bring an element of fun to even the most staid outfit. This whimsical bee printed shirt from Topshop is the holy grail of summer button downs; slouchy, relaxed, and completely adorable. Style with oversized boyfriend denim shorts for day and a bodycon skirt for night to look as sweet as honey.
The traditional button-down can hardly be described as edgy; starched cuffs and stiff fabrics are more suited to the boardroom than the bar. One way to add interest and a distinct style is to choose a button down in a sheer, flowing fabric. Pair this navy blue collarless button down with a multi-strap bralette, a pair of silky black shorts, and your tallest heels for a Saturday night look that’s far from business formal.
CUT IT OUT
Classic, timeless pieces are fine for some occasions; but especially in the warmer months, it’s tempting to let your hair down and try out some new trends. Cold shoulder tops are huge this season, and this white Forever 21 button down is a perfect combination of traditional (with the collar and colour) and the modern (with the slitted back, dipped hem and cut outs.) Ideal for casual barbecues, garden parties, or picnics, this summery staple will make you love the button down again. Style with jeans and your favourite brightly-coloured sandals to make a real impact.
GET IT OFF YOUR CHEST
If you’re disproportionately larger on the chest, you may avoid button downs because of fit issues – most commonly, if the shirt fits well around your shoulders and waist, you experience gaping in between the buttons on the chest. One way to get around this is to attach a small snap fastening to the inside of the fabric wherever your shirt gapes, which will keep it discreetly secured.